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FAMILY HERO:
HOANG V. VU
by Jessica from Mississauga

My Dad

Heroes – many of you think of heroes as people who change the world, rescuing others or even inventing a material that changes and helps society. Although those are some of the characteristics people look for in heroes, there are people who are always there for you. Heroes don’t have to change the world to impact your life; they can inspire you to be the person you are, the person who alters someone’s life and perspective simply by the way they resolve their own problems, or the way they overcome an impediment in the past. Whatever type of person you consider a hero – whether they impact the world or your life – heroes are important to us because they’re our role models and change our perspective on life.

My hero is a family hero, my dad. My dad is my hero because even though he has been forced to tackle difficult problems throughout his whole life, he chooses to do the right thing. Also, my dad never gives up hope, always works hard to be successful in his life, and constantly helps people in need. Even though these character traits make him a hero, the main thing is that he has always taught me to do the right thing and has always been there for my accomplishments and successes. Because of the great person he is and the decisions in his life and mine, he’s my hero.

My dad was born into a family of 6, with 2 more siblings on the way. His family included his dad, mom, 2 older sisters, older brother, younger brother and a younger sister. When my dad was very young, his parents passed away from lung cancer and he was given the responsibility to take care of his younger sister. At that time, they had moved in with their uncle in the countryside.

In 1980, at the age of 18, my dad was one of those males who was forced to train for the army in Southeast Asia. Life in the army is not all fun and games. In fact, it was a living nightmare for most of them; they had to endure soldier training, which included waking up at midnight to run laps and do push-ups and learn how to shoot a gun. The living conditions didn’t make the experience any better. They were horrible; it was crowded and bugs were everywhere in the campsite! After 3 months of atrocious and useless training, my dad and a couple of his friends decided they had had enough and chose to run away from the training camp and start a new life. One of the main points of his army training was to randomly murder innocent civilians. My dad wanted no part in this horrible war; he believes in helping others, NOT slaughtering innocent lives. In 1982, my dad spent 8 days and 8 nights on an 8 ft by 23 ft boat, with 85 other passengers, to an Indonesian refugee camp to get permission to migrate to another country. After four long years of waiting at the refugee camp, a Canadian delegation came to the camp to interview the “Boat People” (as they called them). My dad was one of those few lucky ones who were accepted to go to Canada. Since then, my dad has helped many people in different ways and created a GREAT, successful life with my mom, brother and me.

First of all, when I think of my dad, justice is the first characteristic that comes to mind. In 1980, at the age of 18, my dad and most males were forced to train for war. Since Vietnam had had many wars with its neighbouring countries, they needed soldiers in case another attack commenced. However, my dad was training for the Cambodian–Vietnamese War where they were going to murder innocent civilians. In the end, my dad decided to run away because he felt it wasn’t honorable to eradicate innocent individuals. Because he chose not to kill those people, he’s a very wise man. My dad would never do anything that is unjust; he has morals and follows them. I think being just is a great characteristic in a hero. A hero is supposed to impact your life; since my dad chose to be wise and just instead of the opposite, his choices changed my perspective on life.

Hope
(http://imagecache2.allposters.com/images/pic/JAG/03-PS18-2~Hope-Posters.jpg)

Secondly, my dad never gives up; he knows there is always hope. My dad has been through a lot and always kept going until he got the life he wanted. My dad never stops and NEVER gives up; he’s like the train that goes, “I think I can, I think I can…” Even though my dad is in danger or in pain, he’ll always try his best to provide for his family and give my brother and me the life he always wanted. For instance, in the past, when my grandparents passed away and he was left to care for his younger siblings, he still kept going because he knew his family needed him. In conclusion, my dad has taught me to always keep going and never stop attempting to reach a goal or a dream.

Last and most importantly, my dad frequently helps people in need – whether it’s big or small, “Every little thing helps!” This characteristic is very important in my perspective. A little help can spare someone pain, energy, and stress. We, as healthy, strong human beings, must help those who are less fortunate than we are to make their life a little bit better. For example, if my dad sees someone that needs help at a store, he gladly helps. If he saw someone with a broken down car, he would go see what’s wrong and try to help. Even though these things may seem unimportant, they help someone in the process. Remember that every person needs help sometime in his life; we’re all one big happy family that needs help and needs to help others.


Although my dad hasn’t done any historical or major things to shape the world, he has tried to help the world by helping those in need. My dad never gave up and always kept trying to get the future he wanted by working hard. I love my dad because he has been with me every step of my life, giving me advice and teaching me morals and manners. Because of that, he is a very special person that impacts my life. My dad has taught me to always do the right thing and help those in need. Even though these small things may not seem important, “Every little thing helps!”


Written by Jessica from Mississauga
Last changed on: 6/11/2009

Cambodian - Vietnamese War - the war my dad was training for

Lung Cancer - the disease that my grandparents died from

Boat People - term given to those who ran away from a country by fleeing in a boat (my dad was one of those people)

Refugee Camps - idea of how living at a refugee camp is

Vu, Hoang. "My Dad".

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